Professor Yukio Himiyama reports…
The hard situation in the disaster areas still continues, though relief operations are accelerated. The situation of the atomic plant is still at a critical level, and a large number of people have been evacuating from the danger zone. However, the general public, mass media, and many of the political leaders of Japan may not be serious enough about the situation. Science Council of Japan held a special meeting this afternoon, and issued a statement, which warned the extreme danger of the atomic plant of Fukushima. I did not attend the meeting, but expressed my view by e-mail. I asked SCJ to translate the statement into English. As the battle against the disaster seems to continue long, people are struggling to decide what they should do and what they should not. One of the two baseball leagues in Japan decided to go, while the other decided the other way. The Association of Japanese Geographers yesterday decided to cancel its annual spring conference in Tokyo scheduled later this month. Japan Geoscience Union will probably hold its conference in May, etc. etc. Japan is a country of diversity, and such differences of decisions may be a sign of generosity or maturity. March is the time of parting in Japan. I just came back from the farewell party of my university, which was held as planned. I attended it partly because I wanted to say thank you and good bye to those leaving, and partly because I wanted to talk to my colleagues about the current disaster. A national university of education in Japan is quite multi-disciplinary in nature, and it is a strength if one wishes to be multi-disciplinary. I thought it was my duty as a geographer and a former physicist to explain the overall situation of the disaster. The party was very productive, indeed!
Please also see :
Maps of Foreign Nationals Living in Eastern Japan produced by the research team lead by Professor Yoshitaka Ishikawa at: http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/~kht27176/mappage.html